No. No. No. I’m a Doctor Who fan but there were moments where I could imagine myself as a ten year old girl madly in love with that zany man off the telly watching him do things to women, men and teddy bears and bursting into tears. It’s not explicit but it is adult and frankly a lot would go over a young person’s head.
One of my first thoughts in the interval was "Come press night, this will have some absolutely stinking reviews". I can read Quentin Letts’ one star (two if generous) review already. People walked out. In the interval what looked like the father of two fangirls said "That first half seemed like three hours". It’s going to be divisive.
I, however, loved it. Matt Smith is great – yes, some notes weren’t fantastic but I found that easier to buy into than a pitch perfect Patrick Bateman and in every other way he was offputting and disconcerting and odd and compelling and incredible. Frankly the weird shape of his head gives enough to the role (look at those ears – he’s clearly Adam Godley’s bastard child) but he is a fine fine actor and absolutely nailed it. From the second he came on stage like that I knew we were in for a treat – a treat others wouldn’t like but a funky and unusual treat. He really is a superb actor and frankly a superb enough singer.
As for the play, I’m unfamiliar with the source but I (and a few others, judging by the few but loud laughs this got) found it absolutely hilarious. The music works because it’s utterly ludicrous – the line about there being nothing ironic about their love of Manolo Blahnik just made me laugh typing it. It’s a flippant take on a flippant idea. As a genre of music (very 80s synth Giorgio Morodor-style) it’s not something I’m familiar with or listen to for pleasure but I thought they were good tunes – not catchy (though some are stuck in my head) but not meant to be, they suited the show. Harmonies and rhythms that did something just off what you'd expect which made you never calm. It’s a rollicking romp and it’s hilarious and it’s dark but not in a profound way and I loved every second of it. In years to come, it must be admitted, we won’t be talking about this in hallowed tones and after The Scottsboro Boys this isn’t exactly the most complicated dark affecting musical I’ve seen. It is not as a piece of art a five star show. However, as a satire and piece of entertainment it’s the best in London. I do love some dark satire and if anyone else does they should see it. I want to see it again – not because it’s hugely affecting and the best show I’ll see this year but because I had so much damn fun watching it. I genuinely can’t think of another way to say it. I’ve seen shows I would call lovely this year and this most certainly is not one – there are scenes that were as unlovely as a musical starring Doctor Who can be. But I LOVED it. Whatever is wrong with it (and at least one person here will absolutely hate it, so tell me all its faults) I couldn’t see. So much fun, absolutely raucous entertainment. Admittedly for a sick type of humour – there’s one scene in a club where there’s a cut which is there for exaggerated shock value where about three people (including myself) laughed and many more gasped – but there were probably under ten percent of the audience who laughed at these dark bits and I’m happy to say I was one of them. Not everyone’s cup of tea but absolutely mine. I LOVED IT.